Archive for the ‘gender’ Category

r-kelly-cellphone-video-sweat   Understanding the complexity of African American politics in today’s conversation of sexual violence is vital as the politics of this community shapes how the group responds to African American public figures (mostly males) committing these acts of violence. Recently the docuseries on the singer/songwriter Robert Kelly known as R.Kelly has revealed information about his past and present that shows he has sexually abused past partners and acted violently towards multiple women. This information is not necessarily new as articles from the 1990’s to the early 2000’s noted that R.Kelly had been  depicted Kelly as a sexual predator. In 2008 he had a criminal trial has he was being charged for child pornography but once again slipped through the public’s dismay and remained a loved public figure. This acceptance of people such as Kelly leaves me with deep worry as the women who he assaulted still live in fear and live without justice. Acts of sexual violence such as rape are looked over when the victims are African American women, we see this as the most high profile cases of rape have involved White women though “…approximately 60% of Black girls experience sexual abuse by age 18. According to a 2014 study, about 22% of Black women reported being raped and 41% experienced other forms of sexual violence.” ( EndRapeOnCampus.org). (more…)

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“Do you think there is something we could do to improve how we see other human beings who are struggling?” –Trevor Noah, Daily Show, 01/07/2019

Collins picture     Image result for malala yousafzai   Image result for roy wood jr blindfold challenge

Watch Trevor Noah’s interview with Malala Yousafzai

Tonight President Trump will hold a press conference, presumably about the xenophobic wonders of the border wall.  Ahead of his desperate interruption, Malala Yousafzai’s new book, We Are Displaced, comes out today, telling stories of refugee girls around the world.  Yousafzai’s global focus developed from sharing her own experiences through discourses of media and academia into a project of listening and responding to girls victimized by terrorism.  Dr. Patricia Hill Collins has long been on a similar journey, sharing her own story and the story of her community.  She brings the layered cultural and physical constraints on Black women to the media and academy and now appears on the international lecture circuit, [1] affirming that intersectionality is a driving force all over the globe.

In Yousafzai’s January 7 interview with Trevor Noah, he noted “Being a woman or a girl who is a refugee exponentially increases how difficult that journey is.” He encouraged her to speak about specific refugee experiences, which she did, careful to use universal language when describing motivating factors—how it must feel to be without parents or facing the threat of unnamed violence. The studio audience showed appreciation for Malala; as viewers, we could feel good about knowing who Malala is, clapping for her and taking a few minutes to listen to her. To feel truly good about tonight’s episode though, is to get run over in the intersection, because Malala’s interview followed a segment on the new Lifetime documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, and in both the segment and the interview, the lived experiences of women of color were concealed even when they were ostensibly the subject under discussion. We need Dr. Hill Collins to guide us back, if not to safety at least to an awareness of the danger.

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Image Source: http://trauma.blog.yorku.ca/2015/12/south-asian-queer-community-lacks-visibility/  (Artist – Jinesh Patel)

(Content and Trigger Warning: Self Harm, Suicide, Substance Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Intimate Partner Violence, Bullying)



I often find that mental illness and queerness aren’t addressed properly or constructively when talked about together. So often the public at large would have us believe that queerness is a result of mental illness or that mental illness is the result of queerness exclusively. With this in mind, the queer community will often push back on society’s behavior by talking about the two exclusively from each other, frequently ignoring all the ways mental illness intersect. That’s does not go to say that queerness is the result of mental illness or vice versa at all, but rather it shouldn’t be ignored that many people in the queer community go through both because of the way society has constructed and reacted towards queerness. For example, queerness has often been perceived as a deviant thing, it has historically been punished and worked against in a variety of ways. (more…)

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Image Source: http://www.avclub.com/article/theres-mash-rainbow-road-themes-all-8-mario-karts-206528

I’ll focus on my own experience here but I know there are going to be things about my experience that many other queer people can relate to in this regard.

My experience with queerness has never been linear, it has indeed been very queered. It has consistently involved not knowing about a way of being queer and then being introduced to the concept, a moment of reflection and then realizing “oh shit that’s me.” But I’ve also consistently struggled with coming to terms with these new labels and seeing how they fit me.

From the age of 12 to about a month away from turning 21 I had been on a journey of denial, internalization, grief over myself changing and growing, complete secrecy, exploration, etc. etc. about me being bi. I had come out after years of being afraid of myself, but in that time I also developed a yearning for community. When I came back to UMBC after two years of community college I knew that I’d want to seek out my community. Since then my reality as a queer person has shifted so greatly. I feel so liberated. Yet I grieve. I grieve for the ways I have been, not knowing if they are different than who I am now. My sense of self has been questioned. I don’t know if my new state of existing is just blurrier, or if things have just been just out of my sight this entire time and it constantly feels like both. I don’t know how consistent this person who is me is. (more…)

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I’m carrying a relatively heavy box, but its weight is nothing I can’t handle. However, perhaps I showed some sign of strain that would cause this man to come over to me and take the box. (more…)

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In the way gender and sexuality operates in our world, often times they are highly construed and mistaken for each other. Are they related? Yes. But they are still separate things. Because these identities are often mistaken in this way many people have this idea that being transgender is an identity that’s ‘chosen’ to receive some kind of access to heterosexuality and that to be validated as a trans person you need to be engaged in this effort to be on some end of the gender binary only performing gender in ways that are widely accepted in a hyper policed way, this includes heterosexism as it relates to transess. In fact there’s  a whole other level of heterosexism that is applied to trans people.

But sexual diversity is just as diverse in the trans community as it is in the cis population. I can only speak deeply about my own experience, and I realize it is but a mere single experience in a sea of many others and I do not speak for other trans people, though I feel like my story is relevant to this topic. My personal experience with my gender identity and sexual identity, has been a long and arduous journey that starts out in the closet as being reluctantly bisexual, often leaning towards my attraction to women. Then I was introduced to concepts of there being more than two genders, and it struck me. There were months of tears, denial, and confusion. Once exposed to different genderqueer, nonbinary, and trans identities that I suddenly felt aligned with I couldn’t go back to a reality where my sexuality was the same in relation to my gender identity ever again. Ultimately this ended up being a positive thing, something freeing, something that just ended up feeling more comfortable. But my initial reaction was fear, uncertainty, and feeling disingenuous because of the way the world saw identities like mine and I reflected that back into the way I saw myself. I still do feel internal conflict, I still get scared that I, in no way, have all of the answers about my identity, but as I come into my gender identity I find that I’m making progress in establishing peace with my bisexuality. It’s as if I didn’t want to identify as bisexual before, something about seeing myself as a ciswoman before I knew about the trans identities that fit me,  dating a man really did not sit with me well, it just wasn’t me and it isn’t. I’m finding that being trans and accepting it has essentially worked me into actually being more comfortable about my bisexuality. Now I find new complications in grieving my previously thought of lesbian/queer woman identity, but again I can’t go back, it’s just not me. I am a transmasculine person who is bisexual and with that I am queer and transgender. I think it’s a timeline and identity that defies this heterosexist view of trans people, as different stories and sexual identities of many trans people do. I wanted to provide my own experience as an example of how transness does not equate to gayness. There are certainly many other narratives out there that proclaim trans does not equal gay as well and encourage people inside and outside the LGBT community to realize that there is no one way to be trans or queer and that there is no reason someone can’t be both.

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For Halloween this year my girlfriend and I decided to go as Shaggy and Velma. While looking for clothes in a thrift store, my girlfriend started playing with the idea of going as a sexy Velma. Going along with it I suggested I go as a sexy Shaggy as well.  (more…)

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